Janis Joplin - Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits
Cat #: WPC 32168
Country: Canada Issue
Format: Vinyl, LP
Vinyl: VG++, (listen to our copy)
Cover: clean VG++ in Shrink (see photo)
Piece of My Heart 4:12
Try (Just a Little Bit Harder) 3:52
Cry Baby 3:55
Me & Bobby McGee 4:29
Down on Me 3:04
Get it While You Can 3:24
Bye, Bye Baby 2:34
Move Over 3:39
Ball and Chain 7:56
More than Cheap Thrills or even Pearl, Greatest Hits has helped keep Janis Joplin's short-lived recording career alive for listeners who came along after her 1970 death. "Me and Bobby McGee" is the biggest draw, of course--it was a posthumous No. 1 single--but the rest is equally exciting. Despite the familiarity of the titles here, this goes far beyond the merely serviceable. Finally, the cover photo of Janis smiling in a sunny park is as poignant a shot of her as exists
''Time heals all wounds'', goes an old saying. But in the case of Janis Joplin, time has only served to intensify the magnitude of the loss.
A bad image (she was an...addict, a bad sudent, runaway daughter, etc...) made Janis Joplin a ahrd sell with parents to put it mildly. But after hearing her rendition of "Summertime" (the old Gershwin song from ''Porgy and Bess''), it was clear that whatever her personal shortcomings might have been, Janis Joplin was an awesomely talented singer. The rest of "Cheap Thrills" matched the quality of her rendition of "Summertime". So does the rest of theis "Greatest Hits" LP.
Janis Joplin was a huge fan of 'Big Mama' Thornton, a somewhat tragic figure in her own right. Thornton co-wrote and recorded the original version of "Hound Dog", a song Elvis made famous. "Hound Dog" was never recorded by Janis, but "Ball and Chain", an emotional plea for love and understanding -- or maybe a cry for help-- is here on the greatest hits LP. I doubt that a 9 minute song was really a 'top-40 hit', but this LP serves more as a heartfelt 'thanks' to Janis for the musical memories she left behind, ands not just a document of what radio stations played.
The blues singing here is as good as it gets, and the songs have never really gone away. The play "Love, Janis" (featuring nearly all the songs from this LP) still draws huge crowds, and because the music has aged well, it's the songs --not Janis' excessive lifestyle-- that people now remember.
"Move Over" and "Cry Baby" are two sides of the same coin: a love that's over and the pain of aftermath, when all that's left is the pain. It is almost impossible to sing the blues with so much conviction if you have not 'lived them'. So it seems that Janis Joplin, lived a very sad and lonely life.
Janis Joplin was a classically tragic figure from recent times. Not a "hero" by any stretch, but certainly a great talent lost. "Me and Bobby McGee" makes one wonder if Janis ever found a great love in her life. If not, then the tragedy of her death is even greater.
The songs collected here are not just radio hits. They are more like a requiem.
Janis Joplin - Summertime (Live in Stockholm 1969)
Janis Joplin - Me & Bobby McGee
Janis Joplin - Cry Baby (Live in Toronto 1970)
Janis Joplin - Move Over
Janis Joplin - Get It While You Can - June 25, 1970 on The Dick Cavett Show
Big Brother and The Holding Company - Ball and Chain
Big Brother + The Holding Company - Piece Of My Heart
"Shes so Beautiful! I swear!! And that voice kills me every time I hear it."
"So very young.... She always will be I guess."
"The guitarists are far from mediocre..."
"That's some damn fine garage/psych rock playin from sam and james"